Istanbul: Turkey is determined to have its own nuclear power plant and aims to build at least 23 nuclear units by the year 2023, a minister has said.

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said the ambitious plan involves establishing nuclear power plants in three regions of the country.

"We are a country without a nuclear power plant. However, we are determined to have nuclear power plants," he said.

He said the number of nuclear power plants in the world exceeded 440, and that while nuclear power plants involve risks, they also offered many opportunities.

At least half of all the nuclear power plants are located in three countries, US, France and Japan, he said.

"We can relate a country's development to the number of nuclear power plants it operates," he said.

However, he said that accidents as that in Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant "do not affect decisions to have and operate nuclear power plants".

(Agencies)

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